Saturday, 5 July 2014

Brazil seals win over Colombia, reach the semis!

  Brazil hung on by its fingernails in the final 10 minutes of the match, but advanced to the World Cup semifinals, edging Colombia 2-1 in Fortaleza on Friday.  Captain Thiago Silva scored early in the match and David Luiz gave Brazil a 2-0 lead with a rocket of a free kick in the 69th minute.   Leading scorer James Rodríguez brought Colombia within one when he scored on a penalty in the 80th minute but the Colombians couldn’t tie it.  Germany stands in the way of Brazil’s return to the Maracana for the World Cup final. The two sides clash in the semifinal on Tuesday.  But the host nation will be holding its collective breath, as Neymar was carried off on a stretcher in the final moments of the match, after he was fouled hard and appeared to injure his back.

Germany reach record fourth-straight semifinal!

  Germany reached the semifinals for a fourth straight World Cup by beating France 1-0 Friday in a cagey match settled by a first-half header from Mats Hummels.  The center back headed Toni Kroos' free kick in off the underside of the bar in the 13th minute in one of the few chances created in muggy conditions at Maracana stadium.   Germany will play Brazil or Colombia in the semifinals on Tuesday as it seeks a fourth world title. France struggled to impose its attacking game in the face of a robust, experienced Germany side that seemed more comfortable on the big stage.  Mathieu Valbuena and Karim Benzema had France's best chances saved in the first half, with the German lineup holding off late pressure with apparent ease.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Belgium defeats US 2-1, books date with Argentina!

  Belgium overcame a world-class goalkeeping performance and a furious American comeback in extra time to book a spot in the 2014 World Cup quarter-finals, edging the U.S. 2-1 on Tuesday.  The Belgians applied nearly constant pressure on the U.S. defence before breaking through in the 93rd minute, when Kevin De Bruyne made a great move in close and finally put a shot past Tim Howard.   Romelu Lukaku added a second Belgian marker in the 105th minute, which seemed to seal the win for Belgium.  But the Americans sparked back to life in the 107th minute, when Julian Green brought the U.S. back within one with a great volley.  That provided a grandstand finish to the match, but the Americans couldn’t find another goal.  Howard had a magnificent game in the American net, as Belgium directed 38 shots on goal, forcing 16 saves out of Howard, the most by any keeper so far in Brazil.  Belgium faces Argentina in the quarter-finals on Saturday.   

Argentina scrape 1-0 extra time win over Swiss!

  Angel Di Maria scored in the 118th minute Tuesday to give Argentina a 1-0 win over Switzerland after extra time and a spot in the World Cup quarterfinals.  With a penalty shootout looming, Lionel Messi made a surging run toward the Swiss area and laid the ball off to Di Maria on the right, and the winger sent a left-foot shot past diving goalkeeper Diego Benaglio. Blerim Dzemaili nearly equalized right before the end but his header hit the post, and the rebound bounced off his knee and wide of the goal. Benaglio had previously kept Switzerland in the game when got a hand on Di Maria’s shot in 109th minute.
Argentina will play the winner of Belgium and the United States.